rapid application development
A programming system that enables programmers to quickly build working programs. In general, RAD systems provide a number of tools to help build graphical user interfaces that would normally take a large development effort. Two of the most popular RAD systems for Windows are Visual Basic and Delphi.
Historically, RAD systems have tended to emphasize reducing development time, sometimes at the expense of generating efficient executable code. Nowadays, though, many RAD systems produce extremely fast code. Conversely, many traditional programming environments now come with a number of visual tools to aid development. Therefore, the line between RAD systems and other development environments has become blurred.